Movies You’ve Never Heard Of: Insomnia

May 15, 2010

Brought to my attention by an acquaintance who has great taste when it comes to movies, Insomnia is a detective/cop thriller movie made in 2002. It stars Al Pacino, who is one of few actors I can instantly recognize and name, though I guess that can be said for most people.

A local girl is murdered in Nightmute, a small fishing town in Alaska. As the town’s police force is not used to handling murder cases, they call in for help. Will Dormer and Hap Eckhart, two LAPD detectives, arrive by plane soon after.

The protagonist, Dormer, is quick to jump on the case, but is quickly deterred when he learns that, although the sun is high in the sky, it is actually 10 pm. Checking in at a hotel, he confirms that the sun does not set in Nightmute during this time of year at all, and much to his distress, is unable to even get a moment of sleep that night. Or the night after. Or the night after that. Being affected more each day by sleep deprivation, he pushes forward and works to solve the homocide case.

What really sold me on Insomnia was how, much to my delight, the antagonist is none other than Robin Williams. Knowing fully well that the man is usually either in comedies and/or one of the protagonists, it came as quite a surprise when I learned of his role. He plays the part quite well, and although I have nothing to compare it to, I was quite satisfied by his acting. I wouldn’t mind seeing him play more antagonistic roles in the future at all.

Apparently Insomnia is a North American remake of a Norwegian film made in 1997 (with the same name). I’m rather intrigued by the original Insomnia, as the characters seem to have completely different attitudes and priorities, which could change many situations in a good way. I’ll probably look into it sometime, though for now it’ll have to wait.

I’m not really a big fan of the thriller genre, and even so I enjoyed watching Insomnia. Give it a peak, you may enjoy it.


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